ITHACA, N.Y. — — Cornell Entomologist Elson Shields has been working with persistent entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) as a biocontrol pest management solution since 1992. His work has demonstrated that these microscopic worms can be used in conventional and organic systems as an effective solution for the alfalfa snout beetle, corn rootworm, black-vine root weevil in strawberries, and the Colorado potato beetle. The challenge? It can be hard to keep the nematodes alive until the crop is ready to be treated. This new project will focus on improving the shelf life and formulation of the substrate for this biocontrol agent to make the technology easier to use.
The New York Farm Viability Institute runs a competitive grant program that seeks to create and share knowledge. This project is one of 17 that were funded in our most recent grant round. To learn more about the organization and other work it has supported, please visit www.nyfvi.org.
–New York Farm Viability Institute